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Bill.B

Revell ‘Tweedy Pie’

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I’m not sure whether or not this is going to be a full build presentation, but I found this little Hot Rod under the Christmas tree and decided to share some of my thoughts etc.  

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I thought as I’m waiting for some lacquer to harden off on another project I might as well have a good gander at the instructions and perhaps make a start.  Upon initial inspection I found that all of the chrome parts, except the wheel rims, were unusable so they’ve been given a bleach bath to strip them back. It only took about 30 mins. in Aldi’s finest ‘Thick Bleach’ and the parts were sparkling clean! Anyway, I’ll hopefully reinstate a nice chrome finish with some Alclad 107 once the moulding seams have been trimmed to an acceptable level. I also discovered that the plastic is extremely brittle and generally poorly moulded with plenty of rough edges, seams and ejector marks, but I’m up for a challenge and can hopefully rescue an otherwise great looking car kit (to my eyes at least). So far I’ve only assembled the wheels & tyres as these were very easy to complete, but unlike the rest of the kit these parts were very well presented. The chrome on the wheel trims is excellent, the white wall mouldings well fitting and silky smooth, and the tyres perfectly executed with no hint of any moulding flash. A shame then that the rest is so typically 50’s/60’s quality! 

Anyway, onwards with the build....

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I wasn’t going to do this, but I’ve decided to show just how bad the quality of this kit is. The amount of flash, vague moulding and fit(?!) of parts is not really acceptable by today’s standards, but as most of you know it’s typical of many American kits back in the 60’s. Those of you that are only in your 20’s or 30’s be happy you haven’t had to suffer these abominations during your childhood otherwise you may not have persisted with the hobby. :D

If this sounds like a kit bash, then it isn’t meant to be, I’m purely giving an honest heads up to anyone considering building this kit. Be prepared for a lot of preparatory work. As already mentioned I’m looking forward to the challenge.  :yes:

 

 

Crisply moulded leaf springs...not! 

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Steering wheel, sump, cylinder head and diff. look a lot better(?!) now they’ve been de-chromed. The top box cover on the right hand side has an abundance of flash. 

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Check out the carburettor trumpets, can you imagine what they looked like before I de-chromed them?  :tmi:

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Hmm..... Looks like you got some free kit parts with your box of flash. Good luck with that little lot. 

Wheels look fabulous, so I'm sure you will be able to turn up a great result with the rest of this kit. 

 

Matt

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I feel your pain with the state of the kit moldings, having built a few Revell Roth models over the years.

Even when you manage to get one put together they are incredibly fragile and prone to falling apart again. 

Revell kits also had short shot problems to deal with. I once had a '55 chevy that came with half a hood to make up for all the flash on the other parts!

 

Having said that, the Roth and Fink stuff looks great once fought into submission.

 

Have you tried Molotow Chrome Ink pens? They are the nearest thing I've seen to original chrome on a kit.

 

Good luck with the build, I'll be watching with interest.

 

Tony.

Edited by TonyW

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Thanks for the info about the pens Tony, I’ll give them a try. :yes:

 

I’ve done a bit more work on the body tub, engine, gear box and chassis. The body tub and interior parts fit where they touch, but once filled and primed it should look acceptable (I’ll not mention the door! :swear:  ). The engine is, to be blunt, dire and again the parts fit where they touch, but should be salvageable with a copious amount of filler. The gearbox was just as bad and has required a fair bit of remedial fettling to be half presentable despite being assembled from just two parts. And so to the chassis; this had a huge amount of flash and plenty of sink marks which again has necessitated use of filler to mimic the flat sided box section of the full size car. I’ve already done an amount of rework on it, but there’ll be plenty more before I’m happy to fire up the airbrush and commit to paint.

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about two years ago, I finally gave up on this kit. but in 1966, it was the best, most detailed kit, by the company and Man I admired most. shows how perspective changes in 50 years.

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Hi Bill.B,

            Great to see someone tackling this tricky little kit. I've started on one myself so I know what an awkward little bugger it is.

Contrary to popular belief, Ed Roth wasn't the creator of this classic hot rod. It was built by Bob Johnson who used it as everyday transport. He had Roth do the pin-striping and Roth so liked the car that when it came up for sale, "Big Daddy" bought it. He made several minor changes but mostly maintained the classic hot rod style of the original. The clue is in the styling. Always one to milk the wild and whacky image, Roth's own cars were rarely as classy.

 

The hard bit (apart from actually building the thing!) is in deciding what stage of its life to build it in as it had many alterations over the years. Personally I liked it more or less as Bob Johnson sold it, ie with fairly narrow wheels, painted and fitted with "Baby Moons". Some sources state that Roth fitted the Strombergs but there's a photo of the car with Strombergs fitted crediting Bob Johnson as the owner and I think he fitted them along with the Corvette engine. At this stage it also had a black windshield surround which may help - I've heard that fitting the screen is difficult.............. Also it featured single headlights.

 

The suspension and axle mounting on mine was awkward and not helped by the lack of positive location and it might be worth replacing the cylindrical gas tank with a suitably sized tube - mine wasn't cylindrical after I joined the two halves together and going the tube way was easier.

Anyway, good luck with your build; mine's temporarily stalled while I decide how to paint it.

 

Dave

 

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Hi Dave, thanks for your detailed post, it’s much appreciated. I’m not yet sure whether to make the model as per this example, or to just build it as a fictional hot rod. At the moment (depending on how the Alclad 107 turns out), I’m favouring the original scheme.

 

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Hi Bill,

          Yes, I agree. Keep all the options open. The original colour really suits the car - it was supposed to be Royal Triton Purple which was used on cans of Union 76 oil and because it wasn't a standard in any of the auto ranges it'll be hard to match!

I did get a bottle of Alclad 712 which is their Candy Violet colour but I'm not sure (car looks different in every shot, depending on the light) and hence it got put on one side for tests. Haven't got round to that yet.

If you do go for a fictional scheme, you won't have that trouble and it's a classic shape.

Whatever you do, good luck and I'll follow this thread with interest.

 

Dave

Edited by Fastcat

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I’ve achieved a small amount of progress with some minor parts, mainly drilling out the carb trumpets and mimicking the welded edges to the chassis rails. However, when searching for part 41-C (chassis cross member and front engine mount), I could only find a small part I didn’t immediately recognise. It turned out that only half of the mount was supplied on the sprue. The other half must have broken off when being bagged at the factory as there are no spare parts to be found in the box!  Consequently I’m now left with the task of making a replacement out of scrap sheet. Hey ho, and so the saga of this wonderful kit continues.....

 

 

The only bit of 41-C can be seen in the centre of the picture.

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New part manufactured from spare styrene sheet.

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BTW, Happy New Year to everyone who’s reading this!  :penguin:

Edited by Bill.B

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So far I estimate that I’ve spent about 3 hours simply cutting parts, trimming flash and trying to marry many parts that are impossibly misaligned, and the following photos show a little of what I’m up against. First off, the front axle has upper and lower pins moulded in to allow the wheel hubs to ‘steer’. The second problem I encountered was that the left and right hand pins were, for some inexplicable reason, unequal in length (see photo) and second was that the two hub halves ideally needed to assembled before fitting to the axle to make a (relatively) neat finish. To achieve this I decided to cut off the moulded pins, drill the axle ends and make pins from scrap plastic. This means that the hubs can be assembled off the axle first, filled and fettled, and then assembled once painted which should make a much neater job than what the kit designer originally intended.

 One other item that’s been modified is the Pitman arm/steering arm bracket assembly. The part broke on removal from the sprue due to being very brittle so I’ve drilled out the end of the steering arm bracket and Pitman arm, and cut a piece of carbon fibre rod to length to replace the part that broke. 

 I had wanted to make this a simple and quick build ‘out of the box’, but I think it’s going to take a lot more fiddling about with than I could ever have imagined! 

 

Unequal length steering hub pins in axle ends:

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One side of the axle’s moulded pins has been cut off, the axle then drilled and a replacement pin made from scrap sprue. This picture also shows hubs before and after flash removal.

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Carbon rod replaces brittle and broken kit item. A lick of paint and no one will know the difference. 

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Hi Bill,

          Sorry to hear of your troubles. These were never easy kits when they were first moulded and now they're over 50 years old. What many forget is the sheer number of kits that were produced from a tool set. They're far in excess of anything produced today or in the near future. I can't verify the figures, but I've seen it stated that 3.5 million were made in the first year and currently over 11 million have been made to date.

That has to take it's toll on the die.

 

Keep up the effort. It's going well. You'll find a lot of the "round" parts aren't and are better replaced with metal or plastic rod. It's best to assume that you'll need to do this rather than mess with the kit part and end up doing it anyway.

I'm pretty sure that the engine front mounts are missing too (from memory). Try and look on some of the photos.

Don't give up!

 

Dave

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Hi Dave, thanks for the encouragement, it’s much appreciated. You are correct about the front engine mount and I did have to manufacture one (as described in an earlier post) and it can be seen again in this photo of the chassis. Another modification I’ve done is to fill in the two large surplus holes on the side of the chassis that aren’t required on this particular model. Also, now the chassis has been primed it’s much easier to see the welded seams I’ve added on the side members (as per full size).

 

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It's amazing what a little extra detail does for the chassis. Looking good!

Although it's a bit tedious with the amount of fettling, for the same price you could be trying to file an Airfix Aston Martin DB5 into something representing a car and I know which I'd rather have.

 

It's interesting to compare Revell engineering with Monogram hot rods of the same era. Monogram kits are better engineered for younger modellers and can be made fairly quickly before boredom sets in but they're much more basic. Revell kits are more fiddly and ambitious but really are hard to assemble. I reckon they exploited the limits of tooling and moulding at that time. The sad part is the "Made in China" ad. on the bags. Pity they don't still say "Venice, California".

I built several of their 1/32 American cars of the '50s when I was a kid and I remember them as very difficult kits for a youngster.

 

Dave

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Due to the dreaded lurgi persisting much longer than I’d like, progress has been seriously retarded. Anyhoo, I’ve now started spraying some of the de-chromed parts with Alclad 107A Chrome and I’m quite pleased with how the parts are turning out. The photo really doesn’t do the finish justice as the parts looks slightly dull, but then anyone that’s used this paint will know just how good the actual results are. I’ve tried to achieve a subtle difference between the finish on the engine and the finish on the gearbox & differential. I did this by giving the engine three coats of chrome, and the gearbox & diff only two light coats so the black undercoat slightly impacts the finish. The leaf springs also only received two coats.

 

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Yup, some of us are old enough to remember what it means, and also be fans of the Goons.  :D

It’s interesting that you took the time to look it up though. :yes:

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A little bit more progress has been achieved this weekend as Tweedy is now a rolling chassis, well not quite rolling as I found it beneficial to glue the wheels on their hubs and axles to give the structure a bit more strength and stability. I still need to source and fit the brake lines, spark plug leads, fit the rear bumper, radiator and lights. The bodywork is in primer and still needs the interior fitting out so there’s plenty left to do. I have to say this is the most challenging build since I returned to the hobby, but I’m learning a lot, especially about applying Alclad Chrome and just how fragile the finished surface is!

As an aside, I did find that if Alclad Chrome is sprayed onto a white primered surface it nicely replicates a natural aluminium finish.

 

Chassis is Tamiya X-1 and all shiny bits Alclad 107 Chrome. 

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